By mama | March 17, 2008
I do love the bargain bin at the grocery store. Today’s digging yielded several cans of evaporated skim milk, a stack of raw food bars, and three tetra paks of cooking broth, two chicken, one beef. I also had a coupon for free yogurt for my daughter’s lunch (thank you survey sites) and a coupon for bogo boxes of instant coffee single packs, which aren’t my favorite, but are great to throw into the snack section of my backpack for those times when you just NEED a hot cuppa joe….or need coffee to replace the water in brownie recipes.
The store was having a St. Paddy’s Day special of 5-20% off your total grocery order depending on how many items you purchased. With my coupons, the store’s coupon doubler, store coupons, and the sale, we ended up saving almost $90 on our total grocery bill. That’s basically $90 worth of free staple foods for about 15-20 minutes of work sorting coupons. Good hourly pay if you look at it that way. About a third of it was shelf-stable food for the pantry.
I have realized recently that my survival planning tends to be food-oriented and, while I’m terribly strong in that department, I need to diversify. Specialization breeds weakness after all. So I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my medical stores and skills and my DIY home skills and hardware stores.
One of my big projects for tonight is to sit down and prioritize the survival equipment that I still want to obtain. Of course, #10 cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are very high on the list, but I also need a good emergency radio with a cell phone charger, more light sources (I saw a solar lantern that I liked an awful lot online yesterday), a portable water purification system, and medical supplies and equipment. Probably could use some new hiking boots and rain gear for everyone in the family, too. I’m actively saving toward a .22 rifle as well because, while I love my .38, I’d love to have a more versatile gun for small-game hunting if necessary and home defense. Honestly, while I’m quite competent with firearms, I feel a lot more comfortable with a bow and arrow. I used to teach archery to younger kids back when I was in high school. However, the ultralite compound bows that I like are not casual purchases, so I need to also think about actively saving towards those as well.
It’s always that big question of what you need most and what you can best afford. But by prioritizing my list, I can comb sales flyers from local stores and the internet for the best price (figuring in shipping) on things that we need.
I’ve also been following the ads for local fabric shops and buying high-quality fabrics, yarns, and notions as they go on sale. Extremely useful not only for your own home but as potential barter items.
Once I’ve prioritized my list of goods, I need to put some thought into skill-building as well. Maybe now is the time to make another attempt at learning to knit or to finally learn upholstery like I keep meaning to. Always trying to add to the bank of useful skills. Definitely need to crack open that book of medical terminology for work. I know a lot of it, but I want to refine my grasp of the jargon so that I can make myself an even more valuable asset and maybe increase my pay by showing ambition in studying a new skill set on my own.
I think that the desire to constantly improve yourself and broaden your knowledge of the world is crucial to being good at survival. It’s not just about who has the biggest guns or the best bunker or the pantry stacked a mile-high with foods, it’s about you, yourself, and how you choose to live. Doing things to make your life better regardless of whether there is a crisis. Strengthening yourself. Increasing your value to yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.
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